I don’t know about you but I am the type of person who likes to know the ‘back story’. When I buy a DVD of a movie or TV show I love watching it with the commentary on, learning about some of the why’s etc. that went into the making of the movie/program. Not my husband. He is quite satisfied to watch and enjoy then listen to me give him the “reader’s digest” version of the extras! They say opposites attract and that is true in this case 🙂
In case you are one of those who like to know a bit about the ‘back story’ of Mannatech and its great discovery please read on.
Mannatech was first founded as Emprise in 1993 and the first product they marketed was PLUS™. More on that later. During this time they were introduced to Manapol® which was a natural product discovered by Carrington Lab.
In 1980 Dr. Bill McAnalley, their research pharmacologist, was determined to identify the active component in Aloe Vera. After many years he discovered the functional component (what did the healing of burns, etc.) in Aloe Vera that is responsible for its health-promoting properties. To his surprise, the active ingredient was a long chain carbohydrate called mannose.
He also discovered that when this mannose was released from the plant there was an enzyme attached to it. This enzyme, after a few hours, broke down the sugar molecules leaving it ineffective. All the processing of Aloe – be it flash freeze dried, liquid, etc., – the enzyme was left attached so while the Aloe product had a lot of nutrients, it did not have the active healing component of mannose. So Dr. McAnalley set about to find a way to separate the mannose from the enzyme and stabilize the mannose, which he did. He developed a special, patented process to maintain that effectiveness. Today the pharmaceutical and dietary supplement versions of this standardized Aloe substance are protected by over 100 patents in numerous countries. The dietary supplement form was named Manapol®.
When his contract ended at Carrington Lab he was invited to join Emprise – which changed its name to Mannatech, in 1994. There he continued his research. Two of his sources were the journal Biotechnology and the medical textbook, Harper’s Biocheistry.
The journal, Biotechnology (February, 1990), stated that almost without exception, whenever two or more living cells interact in a specific way, cell surface carbohydrates will be involved. These cell surface codes tell every other cell who they are, what they do, and whether or not they are healthy. The alphabet for that communication is made up of carbohydrates, or simple sugars (NOT table sugar!). This code system is so basic to human life that it is the means by which a sperm recognizes an egg for the purpose of fertilization.
The 1996 edition of Harper’s Biochemistry identified eight essential carbohydrates necessary for the creation of cellular words. When Dr. McAnalley saw that mannose, the carbohydrate in Manapol®, was listed as one of those eight essential carbohydrates, it all started to make sense. He realized that the proper cellular words (glycoproteins) were essential for the effective manifestation of the genetic code – the body’s blueprint – and that proper cell-to-cell communication could have a crucial role in every aspect of the maintenance of optimal health.
Since only two of the eight carbohydrates identified in Harper’s Biochemistry are found in adequate quantities in our modern diets, Dr. McAnalley decided to find good plant sources of all essential carbohydrates associated with cell-to-cell communication (including Manapol®). He combine all 8 in a dietary supplement and Mannatech patented the new carbohydrate complex called Ambrotose®. It was felt that this was perhaps the greatest wellness discovery in the last 50 years.
And Harper’s Biochemistry wasn’t the only source of information on carbohydrates (also called glycans, glyconutrients, glycoproteins)
~ In 1997 Science & Medicine reported that five of the eight carbohydrates considered essential for cell-to-cell communication have been found in human breast milk.
~ In 1998 a respected scientific journal, Acta Anatomica, published a special edition on Glycosciences.
~ The cover of the March 23, 2001 issue of Science Magazine shows a picture of carbohydrates on the surface of a cell, and contains a section of articles on Carbohydrates and Glycobiology, including “Saving Lives with Sugar.” On page 2352, Fig. 1 displays the structures and names of eight sugars — the same ones that are already available in Ambrotose®!
~ The cover of the July, 2002 issue of Scientific American also featured a number of amazing articles on this same topic — Glycobiology.
Since then there have been numerous articles published on this science as well as double blind placebo controlled studies on Ambrotose® itself. There’s no telling where this story will end, but the most exciting part of the story is the impact that Ambrotose® is having on the health of so many people.
Fast forward to 2012. The National Academy of Science published a 209 page paper on these glycans and how important they are to our lives. Glycobiology is now taught in many universities throughout North America and it is predicted that this new subject will be taught in high school within the next 10 years. Mannatech was way ahead of the science community when it developed the plant sourced product, Ambrotose®, in 1996!
Mannatech’s glycans are significant ingredients in our products: health, sports, weight management, and skin care.
Hope you found this brief history interesting.
~ Peggy & Ted